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Linux phrasebook


© July 2006 Anthony Lawrence

Amazon Order (or just read more about) Linux phrasebook  from Amazon.com

In the introduction, Scott says: "While man pages are useful, they are often not enough, for one simple reason: They lack examples."

Oh, yeah. Boy does THAT strike a chord. They lack examples, and they lack thorough exploration of the command. I really like the idea of digging in and going beyond the man page (and I've done that here now and then).

So, how did Scott do? Very well, I think: I liked this - a lot.

Scott gives examples and discussion of just about everything you are likely to do at the command line from basics like 'ls' to using package managers. The discussion is reasonably thorough and new Linux users (or even just Linux users new to the command line) will surely learn from it.

Of course I have quibbles. Throughout the book I kept thinking "but why didn't you mention this?" or "I would have been sure to add x". But that's me, isn't it? We old command line folk have all learned a thing or two, and if we wrote all of it down, it sure wouldn't fit in any book you'd want to carry around. For example, Scott did a few paragraphs on "du". I would have also mentioned " du -s * " which is something I use often when searching for missing disk space - it gives the story of the current directory's sub-directories without the detail of a plain "du". With quite a few things, I had things I would have added like that. But so what? That's why I have this web site, right?

Old hands at the Linux command line may find this slightly less valuable than the newbies, but if you are coming to Linux from other Unixes, this is a handy and concise reference that will make you more aware of the Linux differences.

Good job. Good book. I liked it.

  • Scott Granneman
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Tony Lawrence 2006/07/04 Rating: 5.0


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Sun Jul 2 12:56:56 2006: 2204   bruceg2004


"Throughout the book I kept thinking "but why didn't you mention this?" or "I would have been sure to add x". But that's me, isn't it? We old command line folk have all learned a thing or two, and if we wrote all of it down, it sure wouldn't fit in any book you'd want to carry around."


I still think you should write a book, Tony. I enjoy your writing style, and you certainly have plenty of experience. So, how about it?

:-)

- Bruce



Sun Jul 2 13:09:47 2006: 2205   TonyLawrence

gravatar
Pretty much the same answer as for the mistress:

too old, too tired :-)


But seriously: if I were going to write a book, it would be similar to this one, and it would be a tremendous amount of work for a fairly limited audience. I'm not sure it would be worth it: I probably do better with the website than I would with a book.

I have thought about an "e-book" - collecting certain articles from here and editing them into a coherent whole, maybe with some additional material - but there's the problem for me: the way people make money with things like that is to "hold back" good stuff for the thing they sell. That's just not in my nature; I'm not going to hold back - I'm going to publish it freely here always.

So.. I'm just not sure any of it makes sense for me.

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